Anita Pallenberg

German-Italian actress, model and partner of Keith Richards

Anita Pallenberg (6 April 1942 – 13 June 2017) was a German-Italian actress, artist, and model. A style icon and "It Girl" of the 1960s and 1970s, Pallenberg was credited as the muse of the Rolling Stones: she was the romantic partner of Stones multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones, and later, from 1967 to 1980, the partner of Stones guitarist Keith Richards, with whom she had three children.

Anita Pallenberg in 1970


  • Fate, I respect a lot. I never regret anything.
    • On whether she regretted meeting the Rolling Stones.
    • As quoted in the Brian Jones Spirit Fan Club Magazine, 1997.
  • I decided to kidnap Brian. It sounds ridiculous but they even made a film about it, about kidnapping a pop star ['Privilege'] starring Paul Jones. This was the original story, Brian seemed to be the most sexually flexible. I knew I could talk to him. As a matter of fact when I met him I was his groupie really. I got backstage with a photographer, I told him I just wanted to meet him. I had some Amyl Nitrate and a piece of hash. I asked Brian if he wanted a joint and he said yes, so he asked me back to his hotel and he cried all night. He was so upset about Mick and Keith still, saying they had teamed up on him. I felt so sorry for him. Brian was fantastic, he had everything going for him, but he was just too complicated.
    • On her first meeting with Brian Jones. As quoted in Up and Down With The Rolling Stones, by Tony Sanchez.
  • They looked at me like I was some kind of threat. [Mick] Jagger really tried to put me down, but there was no way some crude, lippy guy was going to do a number on me. I was always able to squelch him. I found out that, if you stand up to Mick, he crumbles.
    • On becoming acquainted with the Rolling Stones. As quoted in Up and Down With The Rolling Stones, by Tony Sanchez.
  • I was too independent for Mick. I wasn't proper enough for him. He's a chauvinist. I wouldn't put up with that. Keith, surprisingly, is not. Though I feel sorry for Patti [Hansen]. I love her and think she is a marvellous woman, but I would not want to be in her shoes now. It's such a lonely existence, living with a rock 'n' roller. No matter how much he loves you, he will always love his music more. I know when Keith is working on his music nothing else matters to him. He can be in a room with fifty people and he won't nothing anything but his guitar. A woman, to live with a rock star, must find her ways of independence.
    • As quoted in a Vanity Fair magazine article, September 1989.
  • That boy of 17 who shot himself in my house really ended it for us. And although we occasionally saw each other for the sake of the children, it was the end of our personal relationship.
    • On how her long-term relationship with Keith Richards ended. As quoted in The Rolling Stones: Off The Record, by Mark Paytress.

Quotes about Pallenberg

  • At first I'm sure Anita wanted to protect Brian from what she thought was our cruelty and callousness. Coming in like that she couldn't realize how the scene developed. Or how impossible it was to deal with a dead weight like Brian. They had incredible fights. And she used to beat the shit out of him every time. He would start a fight. Obviously she was tougher than him. He always was walking around with his ribs bandaged or his eyed blackened. Anita felt Brian was somebody who could be sensitive and obviously she felt he needed support. When he started paying her back by trying to beat her up, she began to realize.
    • Keith Richards, on Anita's relationship with Brian Jones. As quoted in The Stones, by Philip Norman.
  • That song is about a few other things as well. And Anita is one of them. I was breaking up with her around that time. I'd said, "Look, if we clean up together, we'll stay together". Well, I cleaned myself up. But she didn't. And I realized that I couldn't sleep with someone who had a needle beside the bed. I was too fragile at that point. I loved her, but I had to leave.
    • Keith Richards, on writing the song 'All About You'. Loaded Magazine interview, November 1995.
  • They fought about everything - cars, prices, restaurant menus. Brian could never win an argument with Anita although he always made the mistake of trying. There would be terrible scenes with both of them screaming at each other. The difference was that Brian didn't know what he was doing. Anita did know what she was doing. I think in a more gracious age, Anita would have been called a witch.
    • Christopher Gibbs, on the relationship between Brian Jones and Anita. As quoted in The Stones, by Philip Norman.
  • Mick seemed to delight in Anita's sharp mind, her vicious streak that made her somehow very different from Marianne. For a while she seemed to dominate him with the same, almost supernatural hold she had over Brain & Keith. Once I heard Anita listen to a tape of 'Stray Cat Blues' as Jagger proudly waited her tell him (as all the other lackeys had done) how brilliant it was. "Crap," she said when it had finished. "The vocals are mixed up too high, and the bass isn't loud enough." Mick, with the basic insecurity of every creative artist, was so unused to hearing someone dare criticize his work that he at once went back to the studio and had the number remixed.
    • Excerpt from Tony Sanchez's book, Up and Down With The Rolling Stones.
  • I believe that Anita is, for want of a better word, a witch...The occult unit within the Stones was Keith and Anita...and Brian. You see, Brian was a witch too.
    • Kenneth Anger, who would later say of Pallenberg, "She thought she was a witch, but she was just a bitch, if you ask me". As quoted in Up and Down With The Rolling Stones, by Tony Sanchez.
  • I knew her since we were first hanging out in London with The Rolling Stones. She was a real nasty person. She would do anything to upset her girlfriends. I don't know her anymore.
    • Nico, as quoted in The Velvet Underground Companion: Four Decades of Commentary, by Albin Zak.
  • I felt from Anita an unmistakable electrical charge. She was so clever, so European, so built...She exuded a stylish and playful decadence that was at once intellectual, sultry, and mischievous. She was so perfectly Continental. She made quite a lasting impression on me that night.
    • John Phillips, recalling his first encounter with Anita in 1966. As quoted in his autobiography, Papa John, 1986.
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